With commercial 5G services still at least a few years away from becoming reality, readers currently expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to be a key service that will help kickstart the market.
We asked you "Which app will kickstart 5G?" and 273 of you responded. It was a close-run thing, but nearly 100 (35.53%) of you said that IoT -- the concept that billions more industrial and consumer devices will be autonomously communicating through wireless technology -- will be a key driver for 5G. (See Which App Will Kickstart 5G? and How IoT Forked the Mobile Roadmap.)
Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s 5G and IoT boss, Dr Venkata "Murthy" Renduchintal, appears to agree with this, although it is not yet clear how 5G will support low-power IoT connections and high-speed upper-band millimeter connnections under a single specification. (See Intel Wants to Be a 5G Player.)
5G is supposed to deliver data downloads tens to hundreds of times faster than current 4G networks when it arrives in 2020. So it's no surprise that 89 (32.60%) people picked "super-fast video streaming as the most likely thing that will make early users flock to 5G." (See Video Streaming: Broadcasting the IP Video Revolution .)
Virtual Reality (VR) ranks as the third most important app for 5G, with 41 (15%) of you choosing VR as 5G's killer app. (This might turn out be especially true as 5G networks could enable users to walk down the street with a vision-obstructing VR helmet on!) (See The Impact of Virtual Reality.)
Twenty-five of you, meanwhile, believe that autonomous vehicles will drive 5G.
The other options barely registered. Eight of you picked robotics and the Tactile Internet as potential key drivers for 5G. The Tactile Internet, by the way, refers to the idea that the anticipated low latency of 5G networks will let people undertake surgery remotely, fix a broken down car over the air, and all that jazz. Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s Gerhard Fettweis first laid out the 5G parameters of the Tactille Internet in 2013.
Please check out our new poll: Which Country Will Get Commercial 5G First?.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading